Opinion: The political meaning of Easter

As Christians celebrate the Easter season, it is a good time to consider what (if any) political meaning can be found in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians should not over-politicize the Easter narrative, or Christian theology in general.

On the extremes of the spectrum, the tendency to reduce Christianity to some kind of political or social principles for political activity results in two distinct mistakes: It tends to remove Christ from Christianity, making it just another social program, and it tends to subordinate the ends of Christianity to the ends of some political agenda. Thus, Christianity becomes relativized by political goals and ends, losing its prophetic voice. When this happens, Christianity becomes just another expression of a secular political agenda, whether corresponding to the left or right end of the spectrum.

This must be avoided. Christianity can never be identified with any particular politics, nor should its purposes be reduced to the purposes of political or social causes. In other words, Christianity has no particular political agenda, or any program for a particular set of political arrangements.

This does not, however, mean that Christianity has no political meaning. To the contrary, in fact: It means that the political meaning of Christianity is more profound and fundamental than any particular political agenda could ever be. Christians should not reduce Christianity to politics, but neither should we dismiss its political implications. For while it has no particular political program, the implications of Christianity for politics is radical and comprehensive.

And the Easter story is fundamental to those implications. The narrative begins with what many probably took to be a purely political event, with Jesus triumphantly arriving in Jerusalem to the…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.